For thousands of years, the pentagram — a five-sided figure shaped like a star — has been used by a number of religions and cultures and has a myriad of different meanings. But recently, the symbol has been closely associated with wiccans and satanism.
So when one Twitter user noticed this week that many Outback Steakhouses seem to dot America’s cities in the pattern of the nefarious five-sided star, it sparked some concern across social media.
The meme seems to have been started by a Twitter user on Thursday, who shared four screenshots showing Outback locations in New York, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Atlanta — all of which seemed to form pentagrams around the cities.
Wtf is Outback Steakhouse planning pic.twitter.com/l1CSafkdOK
— balenci-who? aga ? (@eatmyaesthetics) July 27, 2017
“Wtf is Outback Steakhouse planning,” Twitter user @eatmyaesthetics wrote.
After the original tweet went viral, other Twitter users in Cincinnati, North Carolina and Virginia shared similar tweets.
NC in on it pic.twitter.com/Yam8sZ1eEt
— jules (@julesjune_) July 28, 2017
Cincinnati.. or should I say, Sin-cinatti. pic.twitter.com/qdEXyecL5e
— Amanda Plummer? (@iNeed_aMANduh) July 28, 2017
Y’all may be on to something pic.twitter.com/fXEsSXR5G3
— A henny has no chase (@hanginwitcoop) July 28, 2017
The simple explanation? Outback Steakhouses cater to suburban families who live just outside major metro areas. Then again, this all occurred on the internet, where the most simple explanation rarely suffices.
?? “Conspiracy theory: Outback Steakhouse is a front for a Satanic cult”https://t.co/Wvh5R7vUHR pic.twitter.com/Q1zjPDsxej
— victor (@PulpViction) July 29, 2017
Outback Steakhouse is slaughtering cows and sacrificing them to SATAN: a conspiracy theory pic.twitter.com/RQP8DWUvDt
— ? JUJU ? (@QueenIdle) July 28, 2017
Eventually, Outback joined in on the fun and tweeted a map of its own — but instead replaced the pentagram with a Bloomin’ Onion, the chain’s famous appetizer.
Plot twist. pic.twitter.com/t2VEpCrWY2
— Outback Steakhouse (@Outback) July 28, 2017
Outback told the Daily Dot that they have “No plans other than to bring bold steaks and Bloomin’ Onions to our guests!”
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.